Becker's 11th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with Dr. Janice Nevin, President and Chief Executive Officer at ChristianaCare

Janice Nevin, MD, MPH, serves as President and Chief Executive Officer at ChristianaCare. 

Dr. Nevin will participate in the keynote panel "Top Strategies for Health System CEOs" at Becker's Hospital Review 11th Annual Meeting. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place virtually from May 10-27th.

To learn more about the conference and Dr. Nevin's session, click here.

Question: Share one change brought on by the coronavirus pandemic that you’d like to see stick, especially in healthcare?

Janice Nevin: There’s been a lot written and discussed how the pandemic accelerated our industry’s adoption of telehealth and virtual technologies to enable care in the home—and that’s definitely important. But if we simply replace in-person care with virtual care and call it a day, we will have missed the real opportunity of this moment.

At ChristianaCare, when the pandemic hit, we were managing about 100,000 covered lives in value-based care arrangements through our CareVio care-management platform, which we developed in 2012, and we had one virtual primary care practice. We had a three-year plan to expand our virtual care capabilities to all our practices. We did it in well under three months. What started as one virtual practice is now about 170 virtual practices. Telehealth and virtual care are part of almost every service we provide.

But even more exciting has been our ability to shift the concept of care so that it no longer needs to revolve around an appointment with your doctor. Using our CareVio platform, we created a COVID-19 monitoring practice that provides asynchronous as well as synchronous care, using secure texting, creating a risk score, elevating people who have a change in their status to a virtual visit, and then intervening to provide them with additional technology or services in the home or bring them in for in-person care, depending on their needs. This care doesn’t pause between appointments—it’s continual and data- and technology-driven. It anticipates and responds to the needs of the individual.

Over the past year, patients and providers have been converted from skeptics to true believers when it comes to virtual care. This change has opened the door to revolutionary transformation. Data and technology offer us the possibility of breaking the old model entirely and replacing it with a hyper-personalized 21st century biopsychosocial model of health that engages us, responds to us, and is built around our needs as individuals. This is what I hope our industry learns from the pandemic. Now is the moment to create a new model of healthcare.

Q: What is one essential trait leaders need to lead effectively in healthcare today?

JN: At ChristianaCare, the values of love and excellence guide everything we do. Excellence is in our DNA – it is about being exceptional today and even better tomorrow.

People are often surprised when I talk about love in healthcare, but I believe it’s the fundamental value that helps me as a leader, and it helps guide our organization to do what’s right for the people we serve and to create health. Because when you lead with love, you must do some really hard things. Love helps you make the right decisions, even when they’re the hard decisions. It helps you to speak the truth with courage and empathy. To anticipate the needs of others. To assume good intentions. Love as a value in our organization has been transformational, and it has helped us to thrive throughout this pandemic. Leading with love requires courage and authenticity. Where love leads, excellence is inevitable, and equity is achievable.

Q: What would you like to see as the defining theme of 2021 for your industry?

JN: There are many ways I could answer this because the pandemic has created a moment in which radical transformation of healthcare, rapid progress toward the Quadruple Aim and expansion of value-based payment models are not only all possible—they’re realistically achievable. But if I must pick one theme of 2021 that should define our industry, it must be equity.
The pandemic brought into sharp focus the tremendous disparities in our nation, as COVID-19 disproportionally affected our Black and Latinx communities. At the same time, we experienced grief, horror and a sense of responsibility as our nation mourned the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others throughout the spring and summer of 2020. Today our country is witnessing a surge in acts of hatred and violence against Asian Americans. Racism is a crisis that demands our attention – and our action.

At ChristianaCare, we made a commitment to anti-racism and are doing the hard work of change inside our organization and in partnership with the communities we serve. Health equity is embedded in all that we do across the organization. We recognize that implicit bias is real in healthcare, and it has harmful consequences. We also recognize that there are systemic causes of inequity in the communities we serve, and in our society, and we as a healthcare organization have an obligation to influence them and effect change.

As an industry, we need to think of ourselves as health creators—not just providers of health care. We can’t be on the sidelines. We have a responsibility to root out systemic racism and achieve equity. We can and should help to create a healthier environment and a healthier society for everyone.

Stephen Klasko, President and Chief Executive Officer at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health

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